Historical Details

Hat Creek Dateline: 1880/08/25

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 11/30/-0001

Canyon Springs robber caught
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer

One more road agent, who had been involved in the Canyon Springs Robbery, has been apprehended. Corey Boyd is now being lodged in the Laramie County jail in Cheyenne. He had been arrested for stealing horses and was later identified by a ranchman as one of the agents who had taken part in the Canyon Springs robbery. He is reported to be a "very bad pill".

Sheriff N. K. Boswell from Laramie City, went to Yankton, Dakota Territory earlier this month to bring back "Cully" Maxwell. The Albany County grand jury had indicted Maxwell of four counts. He is said to have been a member of a Black Hills road agent gang, believed to have committed a number of thefts along the Cheyenne route.

Maxwell had eluded capture in Wyoming Territory and had shifted his operations over into Dakota where he was finally caught. "Cully" escaped from the Yankton jail while Sheriff Boswell was enroute after him. Maxwell was soon recaptured in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and returned to Yankton. After he was back in the Yankton jail "Cully" was chained to the floor of his cell, until he was delivered into the hands of the Wyoming authorities. Rewards offered for his capture were: $1000 by Union Pacific, $1000 by the Cheyenne to Black Hills stage line, and $200 by the Post office Department.

Gilmer & Salisbury, along with Wells Fargo, suffered a large loss from a robbery on March 9th. They are now operating both the Cheyenne and Sidney routes, and have been hauling treasure in the armored Monitor on the Sidney route. Large snow drifts and muddy roads had delayed the armored coach and it missed connections with the eastbound Union Pacific train. The large shipment of gold, worth $120,00, had arrived safely in Sidney, but the train had departed before the coach arrived. The railroad agent had no place to store so large a treasure, and at first refused to accept it. He finally agreed to place it in a locked office under armed guard until the morning eastbound train arrived. Scott Davis, captain of the shotgun messengers, objected, but there seemed to be no better solution.

The gold was gone when the eastbound train arrived the following morning. The stacked bars of bullion and the bags of gold dust had been taken from the office through a hold cut in the floor from beneath the building, while an armed watchman stood guard outside. The tracks showed clearly where a heavily loaded wagon had carried the treasure away from the building.

Davis suspected the railroad agent, Chester Allen. Railroad special agent "Whispering" Smith then arrested Allen, who insisted that all of the time the gold had been in the store room, he had been in the Capital Saloon playing cards with its owner, Con McCarthy. No evidence could be found to hold Allen, so he was released. McCarthy was a suspicious character himself and thought to be involved in the robbery, but no evidence could be found linking either of them to the crime.

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